This is Megia Davila, a La Liga referee… actually, the reigning La Liga referee of the year according to Marca. No, really. I am dead serious. Okay, maybe I exaggerated. This is a now ex-La Liga referee albeit one who only retired at the end of last season. It’s too good to be true right? No. It’s even better. He is the newest Real Madrid “fichaje” or signing, a “Referee Delegate” and he was gracious enough to grant Spain’s premier representative of journalistic integrity (Marca, duh) an exclusive interview. If this not enough vital journalistic information for you then Marca has also awarded what they humbly proclaim to be “La Liga’s Oscars”: the Pichichi, Zamora, Zarra, Miguel Munoz, and Guruceta awards. Guess who won one? That’s right: the handsome devil in the above photo. It’s amazing. If you want more information vital to your intellectual, moral, and emotional development as human beings then click “Read More” and carry on.
Let’s go straight to the Headlines:
La Liga’s “Oscars”: Pichichi, Zamora, Zarra, Miguel Munoz, and Guruceta Awards
It would be safe to say that the two most well known and respected La Liga individual awards are, sadly, given out by our friends at Marca. They are none other than the Pichichi (Highest goal scorer in La Liga) and Zamora (goalkeeper with less goals conceded) which are respected because they are given out on the basis of strictly quantitative criteria and cannot thus be influenced by Marca’s “objectivity”. For last season’s performances, those two award s went to Diego Forlan and Victor Valdes respectively. The Zarra Award (or David Villa Award as it should be renamed in the near future), although not as well known is also respected since it conforms to similar criteria: “highest Spanish goal scorer in La Liga”. The Miguel Munoz Award is given out to “the Best Coach”. This one is open to interpretation but last season’s triplete was so convincing that even Marca could not keep it away from Pep. Our coach, however, was too busy being locked into his office developing cold fusion to solve the world’s energy problem and obsessing over tape of our next opponent, Segunda B side Cultural Leonesa, so he sent VP Rafael Yuste to pick up his little piece of tin.
Nonetheless, this is all irrelevant next to the remaining award, the prestigious Guruceta Award which purely coincidentally is named after a referee who is most remembered for being banned from refereeing any Barcelona game by Barcelona themselves after he awarded a penalty to Real Madrid for a foul inflicted a full three meters from the box during a Copa del Generalissimo Quarter Final when our boy Franco was in power. Yes, our friend Megia Davila not only won it for this season but also for the previous one. Considering this comes from Marca, I think it is meant to be taken with a grain of salt. Before long Sport will hand out its own Awards and the best referee will likely be a Catalan.
La Liga’s Emmy’s: The LFP Awards
Meanwhile, La Liga de Futbol Profesional (LFP or La Liga) which is clearly inferior to Marca, handed out its own awards. Of course, it was a Barca sweep. Our winners were:
– Best Forward: Leo Messi
– Best Midfielder: Andres Iniesta
– Best Defender: Dani Alves
– Best Coach: Pep Guardiola
– Best Rookie: Sergio Busquets
Guess who was the only non Barca player to win an award: Iker Casillas, of course. We are all one hundred percent sure that Valdes holds no grudge whatsoever against Casillas. None at all.
Referee of the Year Interview
Megia Davila’s function is in theory supposed to be “to assist the referee delegation that attends all of Real Madrid’s home games and provide them with any assistance that they may require” and to “teach Real Madrid’s canteranos about the Liga regulations and their interpretation”. The second role is fine but the first one admittedly sounds a little ominous. If RM “signing” a ref is was not enough to provoke outrage among the masses then signing one that was officially active albeit injured (with what, in fairness, turned out to be a career ending injury) certainly was. The signing was then reversed amid the uproar but subsequently re-reversed after the controversy seemingly died down. Starting out in 1996, Davila as a Madrid native never officiated a Real Madrid, Atletico, or Getafe game. However, he officiated his fair share of Barca games. Marca’s exclusive interview of Megia Davila is simply outstanding. Here are some of the better nuggets translated into English:
– On whether the Technical Officiating Committee was angry when he signed while still active: Totally false. I even read that the president would not even let me into the referee’s locker room. I asked him if this was true and he expressed his full support to him. We have mutual appreciation for each other.
– On whether he has always been a Madridista: Honestly, yes. Ever since I was little. My father was an Atleti fan but I always had a special sympathy for Madrid.
– After being told that “it seems a sin that a referee has a favorite team”: True. It’s logical that you cannot express it but it’s there. If you live in Bilbao for 40 years, who will you root for? Is there anything wrong with it if I will never officiate Athletic? If someone thinks that we would help a team by going against their rivals then that person knows nothing about the refereeing collective or the referees themselves.
– On whether he understood the uproar: It surprised me a lot. I really could not understand the reaction. That’s when I understood the magnitude of Real Madrid.
– On what he would say to those that would see a “second intention” in his signing: They are wrong.
Oh yeah, he does mention offhand how he has officiated Catalan derbies before. Awesome. Now, referees are people too and football lovers are that. It is logical that they grow up cheering for one team or another. This leads to interesting questions. How about a Catalan referee officiating a Madrid game like Schuster infamously complained about two seasons ago? What do you guys think? Is this just smoke especially considering that other teams employ ex refs (not us though) or is there an actual fire somewhere? Should referees be prohibited from officiating not only their home teams but also their direct rivals? It’s a complicated matter.
Carles Puyol is a Crybaby
This is the most vital piece of news that came out today. During the Guardiola press conference, some reporters expressed concern over Puyol’s health after seeing him with a limp. Of course, it he goes down, we have to dig into la Cantera for a right back or convert another first teamer. Pep put that worry to rest. Here are his words translated to my best abilities:
“You should see him in training. Puyol is a wuss (“jeca”), a bit of a cry baby (“llorica”). I don’t believe him when he asks to be subbed. He’s too strong .”
In other words, “don’t worry about it”. In homage to our brave Captain and our reigning Man of the Match, here’s is the “Keitee!!!” originating videos: